Research from Randstad found 91 per cent of employees in Hong Kong want the freedom to decide for themselves where, when and how they want to do their work. This compares to eight in 10 employees around the world who say they prefer agile working as it allows them to maintain a good work-life balance. Almost nine in 10 Hong Kong employees prefer the flexibility as they believe it can increase work productivity and improve job satisfaction.
Lowest across all four Asian markets, only 48 per cent of Hongkongers said that agile working causes pressure on their private lives as they do not know how to ‘disconnect’ from work. This is lower than the regional average of 55 per cent, indicating that Hongkongers are more likely to have better control over their work-life balance despite having easy access to work via digital devices. The research further suggests that Hongkongers want the freedom to work at another location or during a time that best suit their lifestyle & productivity as 85 per cent of them are still required to work at the office during stipulated business hours.
Natellie Sun, managing director at Randstad Hong Kong said, “Working in an office provides employees with a conducive environment where they can focus, collaborate and be productive. Despite these popular reasons to keep employees working in the office during business hours, companies need to acknowledge that there is a growing demand for agile working, which can bring about many benefits. Employees who have more autonomy are more likely to possess greater responsibility over the quality of their work and have reported increased creativity and productivity. These results tell us that local employees are keen for change and employers should consider evolving their policies to nurture a more productive and empowered workforce.”
Randstad’s Workmonitor is a quarterly research on the global employment trend. The 2018 quarter one research was conducted between January and February 2018. A minimum sample size of 400 interviews is required in each country.
When compared to the other Asian markets, Hongkongers are most likely to work at the office without having the option of agile working, with 85 per cent doing so. However, nine in 10 employees want to have the option to work outside of the office environment and during a time that better accommodates their lifestyle. Agile working is believed to promote autonomy as Hongkongers want to be given the responsibility to manage their work with greater flexibility. Higher levels of autonomy also lead to greater job satisfaction, productivity and creativity, as employees feel a great sense of personal responsibility over their work quality.
Only one in two respondents said that they feel pressured to be ‘always on’, the lowest in all four Asian markets. Mature employees are the least likely to feel pressured, with 59 per cent of them choosing not to work outside of business hours so that they can focus more on their personal lives. This indicates a strong appetite from the workforce to benefit from agile working options.
Meanwhile, in Singapore, three in four employees have the flexibility to work from home and outside of stipulated business hours. The flexibility to work at an offsite location is popular among Singaporeans, as 87 per cent said that having the autonomy at work increases their productivity, creativity and job satisfaction.
However, 56 per cent of the employees felt that they are unable to disconnect from work. Women workers in Singapore are less likely to feel that agile working has interfered with their personal life as compared to men.